Now we’re well into winter, I am craving comfort food. I’m not the biggest fan of roast dinners, but at this time of year, I just want warming meals. Over Christmas I didn’t end up cooking much at all – which was nice, but now we’re into the New Year, I want to make some new things and experiment with some flavours. Pie is one of my favourite comfort meals to have. There’s just something about it – they’re so flavoursome and filling. And who doesn’t enjoy pie?
I’ve made quite a few in my time and they’re always so tasty because I just cook the meat for hours to ensure all the flavours are balanced and have layers. I got some diced venison for the pie filling as I wanted to do a bit of a twist on a classic – everyone has had a steak and mushroom pie before. But you rarely see a pie using game meat. I just do a pastry topped pie, rather than an encased one.
I cooked this for 6 hours on the hob, before transferring to a pie dish. It serves 4 and was super easy to do!
Prep time: 10/15 minutes.
Cooking time: 6+ hours.
- 500g Diced venison meat
- 1 brown onion diced.
- 1 tsp lazy garlic.
- 2 carrots finely diced.
- 2 sticks of celery diced.
- 250g chestnut mushrooms diced.
- 6 rashes of streaky bacon roughly cut.
- Bunch of fresh thyme.
- Bunch of fresh rosemary.
- 750ml red wine.
- 2 rich beef stock cubes.
- 1 tbsp tomato puree.
- 1 tbsp brown sugar.
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
- 1 tsp dijon mustard.
- 1 tsp horseradish.
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs.
- Salt and pepper to season.
- 375g ready rolled puff pastry.
- Plain flour.
- Season the plain flour and coat the venison in it. Heat some oil up in a large frying pan and brown off the venison. Set to one side.
- Fry off the bacon in the same pan and add it to the venison for later.
- In a large casserole pan, fry the onion, garlic, mushrooms, carrot and celery in butter on a medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the venison, bacon, the thyme, rosemary and mixed herbs, along with the Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir thoroughly and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat up high and add the mustard, horseradish, seasoning, tomato puree, and red wine. Cook on high for 15 minutes.
- Add the beef stock cubes and turn down to the lowest heat.
- Cook for 5+ hours, stirring occasionally.
- When you’re happy with the texture of the meat and flavour, transfer to a pie dish and allow to cool for 1 hour.
- Top the meat with the puff pastry and brush with a beaten egg.
- Cook on 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
I served mine with homemade chips, but you can put it with anything!